If you feel resentment towards your spouse


#1

is that a sin? I’m having one of those days where I’m feeling a bit jaded. My husband is now angry with me because I called him while he was on his way to work to let him know that he forgot to empty our kitchen trash again (the trash has needed to be emptied for two days). I wasn’t even allowed to finish what I was saying before my husband cut me off and hung up on me. So we wound up discussing the situation via texting and IM and it concluded with me apologizing and accepting all the blame which apparently wasn’t good enough. I’m just tired of feeling like I’m the nag if I ask my husband to do the one chore in the house that is his alone. Its becoming pretty evident to me that I really resent him in a lot a areas of our marriage. I’m the one responsible for raising our children Catholic (He’s a cradle Catholic, but from his perspective, obligations to attend Mass and practice our faith don’t apply to him. :() So I’m the one taking the kids to Mass every weekend while he stays at home and plays video games or watches TV. Because I don’t work outside the home, all housework and childcare is my job. If I ask for help, I have to wait until my husband is good and ready to do it, and oftentimes I will get comments about how he doesn’t ask me to help do his job. If I get tired of waiting for him to help me and do the task myself, he gets angry with me for being impatient. If I seek emotional support from my husband, he tells me I’m too needy. I feel like no matter what I do I come up short.


#2

I have to be honest…if my husband were on his way to work where he serves a breadwinner for our family, I would never under any circumstance call to tell him he forgot to take the trash out. I would just do it myself. Then, in the evening when he is home, after we had eaten dinner and were sitting on the couch, I would very gingerly say - you know, when you remember to take the trash out, I really appreciate it. In fact, it makes my whole day easier and it just reminds me what a valiant husband I have.
Sometimes it is all in the approach. This is given that your husband is normal, rational person - which not all people are.


#3

To answer your question though, no its not a sin to feel a certain way. But not addressing these feelings can lead to sin if you let them go unchecked. Not to mention, you deserve to be happy and communicate with your husband.


#4

Have you thought of getting a job outside the home or going back to school?

If he makes smartass comments like “I don’t ask you help with my job” tell him that being a father is his job, or you could write him a bill for 16 hours a day of housework and childcare.

If I were you I would look into getting a job outside the home though


#5

*Sorry to hear this, hunnybuns. (I love your username) :slight_smile:

I would highly suggest getting into counseling…rather quickly. This sounds like a communication issue…it happens. Before things explode into days of not speaking, strong resentment, and worse…I’d get into counseling. Doesn’t matter the details…it sounds like you are talking past each other right now. He might be VERY stressed being the sole breadwinner. It is a very stressful world out there right now, people losing their jobs every day…he might be very concerned, and doesn’t know how to open up. Counseling might help him to open up, and get that out in the open. He might feel resentment towards YOU. :eek: Yes, he might…he has to work, you are staying home. To many breadwinners, working outside the home is always harder than the one staying at home. I remember those days, when I was a SAHM. :o Playing video games, etc might be a passive aggressive kind of behavior to sort of escape his stresses.

But, you BOTH work hard…you BOTH contribute to the good of the family, albeit in different ways. That needs to be driven home to your husband. But, I wouldn’t call him to talk about the trash. I can understand his frustration. But, it doesn’t mean your feelings are not important…THEY ARE. I think this is where counseling can do WONDERS…because it helps for both people to open up in an objective setting.

I might also suggest recharging your batteries through Retrouvaille…many couples who have communication issues go there, and it does wonders. Brings everyone back to center.

I will be praying for you both! :hug1:*


#6

*Above all...marriage is a team sport...and you are both playing for the SAME team. ;) God bless! *


#7

If I got a job outside the home I’d still be expected to take care of everything at home, too. So that wouldn’t do me much good. Going back to school to pursue my masters would simply add more to my current work load. And with two kids to look after, I don’t think I’d be able to throw myself into studying the way I did when I was in college.

My husband has a long commute to and from work so in a typical work day he’s gone for close to 12 hours. And, since he’s essentially married to his job (computer programmer) he continues to work even when he’s home. His work is always the priority. Because of this, I think he feels he’s justified in not wanting to help out much at home. I’ve explained to him many times in the 9 years that we’ve been married that I spend the bulk of my time willingly taking care of our home and children, but sometimes I need a little help. I don’t think he gets it.


#8

Feeling resentment isn't a sin. It's just part of living together. Letting it fester into something worse is a different story.

I do know, hoever that there are all ways to handle things. I am for the forgetful one in our relationship (even though I am the one in charge of household chores and whatnot) and I know that if there is something my husband asked me to do, and I forgot, then he called me when I was on my way to work....well I'd have his head. Calling me while I am on my way to work and there is nothing I can do about it at that point and then putting me in a bad mood for my work day (I'm expected to have the happiness and energy of a cheerleader at my job) is WAY worse than forgetting a chore. He could just wait to talk to me about it when I get home.

I understand your frustrations though. My husband forgets a lot of things I ask him to do, and when he has time off (I don't get any with my job) and I ask him for help, he gets grumpy. It seems that what you are facing is a pretty common thing. The trick with marriage isn't that these problems don't exist, its how you handle them. I've personally found that when we have arguements about forgetting chores and whatnot, the only way I can try and get on even footing is if we both air our frustrations, then brainstorm together ways to fix the problem that sounds fair to both of us. Given that we are both frustrated about forgetfulness, we decided to make a to-do list for each other. We write things on each other's to-do list, and no one can not do them that day unless they talk to the other. Things like "dinner, dishes, pay bills" are on my lists, and he can add. However, if one of us feels a chore is too much, or the list is too long or unreasonable, then we talk about it and trim it down. We also keep the list in a common area (like the fridge) so it's not out of sight. I've also found the absolute worst thing to do is to bring up a frustration when there is A) No time to talk about it (on the way out the door, just before bed, etc.) and/or B) At a time when there is nothing that can be done about it. (on the way to work, when we're on a trip, in church, etc..)


#9

I don’t know, I am not married and I have never had to deal with this, so take anything I say with a grain of salt.

I think if you went to school to pursue your master’s or got a job outside the home it would be easier for you to demand that your husband contribute. You would also be completely justified in not doing anything at all for him, thus forcing him to contribute.

I don’t know to what extent that would be effective though. If I were you I would just divided the household chores and make a point of never doing his share. Once he ran out of clean clothing and had nothing to eat he’d have to do something… then I can also see how it wouldn’t be good for the marriage.

It would seem that normally he would want to help you and want to contribute, but he doesn’t. It seems like the only way to make him do something is to give him negative consequences for not doing it. I guess you could always refuse him sex until he shapes up, but that could be a dangerous road too.


#10

Flyingfish,

Most of this advice can be really dangerous. It’s passive-aggressive and really irks spouses like no other. Refusing sex is always a recipe for utter disater. Sex is a gift to spouses, never a weapon. The ONLY thing that can help a marraige in trouble is communication, communication, and more communication.

I’d advise you that if your attempts to communicate with him are failing, then professional help is needed. If you start a war with your spouse, the casualty will be your marraige, and nothing good can come of it.


#11

There is one thing I know for sure: RESENTMENT NEVER WORKS, EVER.
The best thing to do, which can feel difficult, is to simply forgive and forget, and move on. I know from experience that no matter how much work we do, it will not be appreciated either by those we work for or by the Lord, unless we do it with a cheerful heart.
Perhaps if your husband changes you will become happier. But then you will have other problems that fret you.
So why not be happy the way it is? Hang a picture of the Holy Family in a prominent place in your house. When you start feeling blue, look at them and see that THEY are with you. If you feel their presence, you will likely be happy no matter what. It generally doesn't take much to be happy.
Hope that helps. Saying a Hail Mary for you right now.


#12

I guess, I can see what you’re saying. But how do you make a man who refuses to contribute to the household duties and parenting duties participate?

Maybe he likes the way he is set up now, spending his free time watching tv and playing computer games while his wife takes care of everything. If there is no incentive for him to change, why should he? What can she do to motivate him to change?


#13

Great post Whitacre Girl.


#14

[quote="flyingfish, post:12, topic:181273"]
I guess, I can see what you're saying. But how do you make a man who refuses to contribute to the household duties and parenting duties participate?

Maybe he likes the way he is set up now, spending his free time watching tv and playing computer games while his wife takes care of everything. If there is no incentive for him to change, why should he? What can she do to motivate him to change?

[/quote]

The problem is trying to force someone to do something. There needs to be incentive, I agree. But not force. In a marriage, both people love each other. If a husband is communicated with and shown that his actions are deeply hurting his spouse, he should change immediately to try to help meet her needs. If he is not persuaded to do so by seeing his discontent, then counselling is needed.

Men are....forgive me, stubborn creatures. At least, mine is anway. If I try to trick him or force him into doing something, he knows. He's not stupid. And the fact that I am trying to force or trick him just makes him more angry and makes him dig in his heels. If I ask him, talk to him, or tell him that he's hurting me, he is much more receptive.

If you are declaring war on a spouse, the only casualty will be your marriage. Problems don't get solved, they just go away when the spouse leaves. It takes two people to have a fight. In this situation the husband is undoubtedly frustrated and stressed as well (and if he is working as a computer programmer 12+ hours a day, I have no doubt he feels overwhelmed and stressed) The ONLY way to work out these issues is to talk about them. BOTH sides need to come together and hash out frustrations, solve them, and do so in a loving manner. If this isn't possible on their own power, there are professionals that help couples do just that.


#15

Calling him while on his way to work WAS nagging. Don’t nag. It will drive him away.

What did you two talk about in your pre-marital counseling? Was the plan that you be a SAHM and he the breadwinner? Before marriage, did you discuss how the household would run? How does his dad treat his mom?


#16

Thought I had typed out a post but it disappeared! Oh well, here's the gist:

You are overwhelmed. Two young children, house to run, dishes, laundry, errands, sole responsibility for raising them in the faith, on top of a hundred other responsibilities. These are the hard years of marriage. For both parties.

Try to separate your stress from your husband. Try to see them as two separate issues. If you weren't feeling so overwhelmed, you likely would have taken the trash out yourself without giving it much thought. But being burnt-out magnifies these sorts of frustrations. Then, if you're anything like I was (before ex-husband left us), dwelling on his oversights triggers the litany of annoyances and it goes nowhere productive from there.

For the next few days, try to mentally take your husband (and his mistakes) out of the picture, and focus on what specifically gets you down. For example, does the laundry seem too much to handle? Then commit to right then and there grabbing two trash bags and stuffing them full of clothes to donate. Do the kids have too many Polly Pocket teeny tiny shoes that seem to always be all over the house? Then stick them in a box and put them on the top shelf of the closet for a few days or weeks. Dishes always stacking up? Switch to disposable plates and cups for a few weeks just to give yourself a break. Feel like you're "just a mom" and not a woman anymore? Buy a new beauty product at the drugstore and pamper yourself...doesn't have to be expensive or take long to take your mind off of your daily stresses.

Point is, pay attention to your triggers (minus your hubby!), and try to conquer some of those. Then when your stress level has decreased somewhat, you'll be better able to look at your communication issues more productively.

God bless!


#17

[quote="that_name, post:15, topic:181273"]
Calling him while on his way to work WAS nagging. Don't nag. It will drive him away.

What did you two talk about in your pre-marital counseling? Was the plan that you be a SAHM and he the breadwinner? Before marriage, did you discuss how the household would run? How does his dad treat his mom?

[/quote]

I'll agree with you that I probably did nag him by calling him to point out what he forgot to do. I know he doesn't like me calling him to tell him what he didn't do, but I was angry when I went to clear the kitchen table and couldn't throw away the trash. I had asked him for two days to please empty the trash and every time I asked I was told he'd get to it later. In a text message I was told that I was lazy like my mother because I didn't just empty the trash myself. (I did empty the trash and I also decided to take care of the rest of his trash related chores. I'll probably be accused of doing it to take a cheap shot at him. In truth, I took care of it so I wouldn't have to ask him to do it again only to have him sigh at me.) I don't function well when I'm angry about something so for me calling him and getting it off my chest was what I needed to do to make my day move forward. It was clearly selfish of me and it didn't make my day any better. I did apologize to him but like all of my apologies, he doesn't think they're sincere.

Me being a SAHM was agreed upon by both of us before we were even engaged. It's one of the things that were were totally in agreement on and still are. As far as taking care of the house and children, we had agreed that it would be a shared effort. More often than not, that is not the reality. He does offer some help around the house, but if he's not in the mood to do what I need help with, or its a chore he doesn't want to do he simply won't do it.

His parents are divorced. His mother left his father for someone she met on the internet about 12 years ago. His father didn't want the divorce. When they were married they seemed to be very happy with one another and they didn't argue like my parents (who are still married) did.


#18

So that's where my xh went. I was wondering what happened to him.

Not joking.

The problem with resentment, it's not the problem. It's the symptom of a bigger problem. It's like a debt that piles up and one day you look at it and say "Gee, I've been doing everything myself forever and I'm sick of it." Then the anger starts. But it takes a while to get there. Once you're there, there is a whole lotta water under that bridge.

Sometimes men agree they want their wives home because deep down they don't have a lot of respect for women. You exist to serve their needs and they never saw marriage as a partnership.

Sounds like some verbal abuse is also going on there... he feels the need to attack your mother while he's criticizing you? :(

As another poster said, these are the hard years, (I say made unnecessarily harder by a spouse who is lazy.) Must be nice to only work 12 hours a day. The mom at home lives at her office 24/7 and is "on-call" every minute. Some men don't realize that. Or don't want to.

I've been there. If you ask nicely for the garbage to be put out, they "forget." Then you ask more than once, you're nagging. You ask for two days, YOU become the problem. If his boss told him to do something for 2 days, I bet money it would have been done the first time it was asked. He has told you you aren't a priority. Not only does he not help, but he criticizes you for being lazy?

I think some posters here are coming down a little hard on you. You're hitting "the wall" and this is a dangerous place. You already know what doesn't work with your husband: expecting help, expecting shared burdens, asking nicely, nagging, expressing your needs, voicing your irritation, doing it yourself (even that becomes your fault, that you were finally taking out the trash. Did he think you did it to "make him look bad?") Yeah. BTDT.

You are in a no-win situation with this man. He'll help you when he feels like it.

So how do YOU survive this marriage? Well, first you decide if you and your kids get enough out of it to put up with the negative. That includes the kids. Obviously your needs are not being met. (Yeah, I had the husband who didn't want me to work tell me later to get a job and earn my keep and that I did nothing at home all day.)

Are the kids' needs being met?

If they are, good.

Now you have to figure out how to meet your needs. No one else will do that but you. Your husband is not a partner in this. So you have to find a way to survive this marriage and cut short the resentment. The only way you'll do that is by meeting your own needs.

Put a little money aside and hire someone to come in and clean. It will make you feel less angry that you are the "maid" there and will provide someone who really needs a job with income. Once a week or every two weeks... try it. If he complains, tell him you're overwhelmed by the workload. (Which I bet money he's never done for one day on his own so how would he know?)

Since he's gone 12 hours a day at work you have 12 hours a day to live your own life without being told you're lazy like your mother. Find a friend and once a week swap kids so you can go out shopping and running errands or just being by yourself for a few hours to see a movie.

Reclaim an identity that doesn't involve being someone's wife or mother.

It's not being selfish. It's showing your children that you have value too. Right now they're probably not seeing you being treated that way.

No, they're not. If they're watching their father ignore you and play passive aggressive games and leave the whole responsibility for family life on your shoulders, they are not seeing him treat you with respect and as a marriage partner.

Now, go online or sign up for a Master's program at a nearby college. Take 1 course a semester. A 3-credit course won't take that much time. And it will recharge your intellectual batteries. After 4 years, you'll have a master's degree. You might need that after 14 years of marriage to him. At least those four years won't go by and you'll be angrier and more bitter and resentful that you stayed home and cleaned house and that's all you did while he was gaining professional respect and pay raises.

Do it for you.

I would have ignored this advice years ago. But wives whose husbands actually take care of them don't build up the resentment that you have. There's more going on here, and I bet if we went for 10 pages the whole story would come out and it would be more negative than positive.

continued...


#19

What you have expressed is a cry for help and understanding. Please, find a way in the context of a stable homelife to take care of yourself. It’s much easier than being forced to do so in a divorce situation with limited money after everything builds up to a point of blowing up.

Find your spiritual peace and companionship without him. It’s his ultimate loss that he wants to trade eternal happiness with God in heaven for a few hours of MortalKombat or whatever he plays.

Don’t call him and complain. It depletes you and gives him a reason to blame you. My xh didn’t even know where the garbage bags were kept in a house we lived in for 4 years. Eventually you can train your kids to empty the garbage so you don’t foist someone like that on the world.

I disagree with all the posters who say the poor man needs to be coddled from his hard day of work when he gets home. I know a lot of men who head straight to a gym and have plenty of energy to pump iron but they can’t manage to pull a bag of garbage out of the can and carry it outside. But he’s not going to do it. So you need to do it and find a way to not resent him. Even if it involves imagining all your anger at him being in the bag and you throwing it away yourself. By resenting him you give him way too much power over your own head and heart. And something tells me he hasn’t earned that degree of power in 9 years.

He didn’t start out treating you this way. Or you wouldn’t have married him. Maybe it started after the first baby was born? Who knows. Just know your resentment is hurting you more than it’s hurting him. So find a way to pay your own debt to yourself. He won’t. If all he provides is a paycheck, then take that. Focus on that as a positive. An alimony/child support check isn’t as much and there’s a lot of other problems that go with that. So find a way to appreciate what you have. Pray for him. And find ways to have a good day without him. You can’t change him. You can only change how you react to him. Sometimes that brings about slow changes in someone else. But that isn’t your intent, to manipulate others. Change what you need to change to make your own world bearable. Then his behavior won’t matter as much.

Good luck.


#20

*Hunnybuns–praying for you. Marriage is tough at times…I have been through my ups and downs with my husband. All advice here is excellent, and I also encourage you both to find a way to understand each other better. He has his “side,” and you have your “side.”

I think that sometimes, we get buried under the details of life…and we wonder…’‘where did that lovin’ feeling go to?’’ :o But, it’s there. Find time for just the two of you to get to know each other again…quiet dinner. Someone to watch the kids for the night. I believe it’s important to find time for just you…but you both need to find time for just each other…to fall in love again. To find romance again. To talk to each other about other things besides the bills, work, and the kids.

I’ve been there…and after a while, you feel like roommates who share a last name. My husband and I have to find time…even an hour, to just be together, without the kids…without the cell phones…without talking about work…and just BE. It can really take the pressure off everyday living as a married couple. You sound like a very loving wife, I hope that things get better.

I will keep you and your marriage in my prayers. :hug1: *


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